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MRC's Brent Bozell talks about media bias on FNC's The Kelly File, 9:30pm ET/PT Thursday

CBS Notices Harry Reid's Kids' Cancer Research Gaffe; ABC, NBC Out to Lunch

Nancy Cordes stood out on Wednesday's CBS Evening News for pointing out Senator Harry Reid's eyebrow-raising "why would I want to do that" answer to a question about approving funding for cancer research for children. Meanwhile, on NBC Nightly News, John Yang hyped how "200 patients a week...including about 30 children" had been turned away from "last-resort medical treatment" due to the government shutdown, without mentioning Reid's gaffe.

Jim Avila also ballyhooed the detrimental effects of the shutdown on World News, and used man-on-the-street interviews to hint that Tea Party Republicans were mainly to blame for the issue. But the ABC evening newscast also ignored the Senate majority leader's remark. Hours later, none of the Big Three's morning shows mentioned Senator Reid's misstep during their reporting about the shutdown. [MP3 audio from Cordes' Wednesday report available here; video below ]

Cordes' Wednesday report differed little from her earlier biased reporting, which placed the blame for the shutdown on the congressional GOP. During his introduction to the segment, anchor Scott Pelley contended that "the shutdown, as you know, is the result of Republican attempts to roll back ObamaCare. But House Republicans appeared to be having second thoughts today, and they began passing bills to fund parts of the government, despite threats of a presidential veto."

The correspondent continued that "House Republicans moved to fund national parks and the National Institutes of Health, after the nation saw stories about sick children shut out of cancer trials, and veterans blocked from the World War II Memorial." Moments later, she played a clip of her slanted question to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor during a press conference:

NANCY CORDES: Why are you pushing for monuments to be opened instead of – say, Head Start preschools for low-income children? Isn't it all important?

REP. ERIC CANTOR, (R), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: That is coming as well, okay? We are going to take every issue that is out there that we have agreement on, and put it on the floor. And we will pass the funding bills to go to the Senate.

Cordes ended her report with her reference to Reid's gaffe, but only after playing a soundbite from a Democratic representative bemoaning the shutdown:

REP. JOYCE BEATTY, (D), OHIO (from speech on House of Representatives floor): It's like asking a large family – for the parents to pick three children to feed, and let the others starve before their eyes.

CORDES (live): Senate Democrats say the only funding they'll agree to, is a bill that funds the full government – no strings attached. In fact, Scott, today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was asked if he would be open to funding cancer research for kids only. And his response was, 'Why would I do that?'

The CBS correspondent failed to mention the Nevada Democrat's answer during her report on Thursday's CBS This Morning. She again played the soundbite of her left-leaning question, but unlike her earlier reports, she included a clip of a hardball question that she asked Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski: "Why not put some of your constituents back to work? Isn't that better than nothing?"

The full transcripts of the relevant reports from ABC, CBS, and NBC's evening newscasts on Wednesday:

10/02/2013
07:03 am EDT
NBC Nightly News

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Of course, the ripple effect of all of this, the impact is being felt right now across this country by millions of Americans in all walks of life.

NBC's John Yang has just a few of the many examples tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 1 (from phone call): I think it's ridiculous.

JOHN YANG (voice-over): Callers to WCCO radio's 'Chad Hartman Show' in Minneapolis today did not hold back.

CHAD HARTMAN (on-camera): Who are you most upset with?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 2 (from phone call): I definitely blame the Republicans.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 1 (from phone call): I blame this completely on the Democrats.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 3 (from phone call): I am so ticked off at the Tea Party.

YANG (voice-over): On day two of the government shutdown, anger around the country rises as the impact spreads. At the National Institutes of Health outside Washington, nearly three-quarters of the staff is on furlough. That means turning away about 200 patients a week for a last resort medical treatment, including about 30 children – most of them cancer patients.

YANG (on-camera): The pain's being felt by more than just those who depend on government programs and by federal employees. The shutdown's also affecting government contractors.

YANG (voice-over): Josh and Laura Hale have five girls and zero pay. Both of them are on furlough from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base outside Dayton, Ohio.

LAURA HALE: Just because our paychecks stop doesn't mean the bills stop.

YANG: They are still trying to recover from losing six days' pay each because of the sequester.

JOSH HALE: Even if we end up getting reimbursed for the time off, it's too late. You know, we need money now.

YANG: Something like 7-month-old Harper's $300 emergency room visit this weekend for an ear infection could be a financial disaster – a hard reality they'd like Congress to understand.

J. HALE: I shouldn't pay the price because you can't agree.

YANG: Frustration growing in families paying the price for gridlock in Washington. John Yang, NBC News Chicago.


10/02/2013
06:31 pm EDT
ABC – World News

DIANE SAWYER: But on this day two of the shutdown all across this country Americans are asking, what is this costing hardworking families? And is it putting the country at risk?

ABC's senior national correspondent Jim Avila leads us off tonight.

JIM AVILA: The shutdown is not just about bureaucrats and tourists. Today, the men in charge of the CIA and NSA told Congress 70 percent of America's intelligence analysts are on the beach, furloughed.

JAMES CLAPPER: I've been in the intelligence business for about 50 years. I've never seen anything like this. This seriously damages our ability to protect the safety and security of this nation and its citizens.

AVILA (voice-over): At FBI headquarters today, 50 percent of the staff ordered to stay home, making it more difficult to identify terrorist threats. Across town at the FDA, all scheduled inspections of foreign and domestic fish, fruit, vegetable and juice producers have been postponed. At the CDC, researchers are not tracking outbreaks of food poisoning. Less than a third of the CDC scientists are on the job. One official telling ABC News, 'It's mind blowing that our world renowned scientists can't look at their Blackberries today.' Home buyers applying or waiting for FHA-backed mortgages are already suffering.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 1: We're in this hotel for who knows how long.

AVILA: In Ft. Wayne, Indiana, the Reed family loan stuck in the pipeline, awaiting final approval from government employees not at work. Critical social programs such as WIC, which provides 9 million moms with money for infant formula and baby food have been deemed nonessential.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 2: How am I supposed to get the extra $200 a month to pay for formula?

AVILA: And Head Start is beginning to shut down across the country. In Connecticut today there was no preschool program for Geraldine Bryant's twin sons.

GERALDINE BRYANT: It's going to impact them in a big way, especially academically, as far as them not being able to be in school.

AVILA: Trouble for military families, too. Commissaries, those cut-rate stores on bases and posts, have been closed, the civilian workers who run them sent home.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN : Stop it – just stop it.

AVILA: Across the country, frustration at those in Congress shutting down the government to make a political point.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN IN LOS ANGELES: Government shutdown is ridiculous. It's GOP obstructionism in its purist form.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN IN CHICAGO: It's a crime and I'm sure most of it is the Tea Party.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN IN ATLANTA: You guys need to sit down, earn a living by doing what we sent you to Washington to do.

AVILA: Plenty of disgust across the country and in fact, this is having a broad impact on the American economy. $1.6 billion a week being lost, $300 million a day and $12.5 million every hour lost due to productivity. Diane?

SAWYER: Every hour, thank you, Jim.

    
10/02/2013
06:32 pm EDT
CBS Evening News

SCOTT PELLEY: The shutdown, as you know, is the result of Republican attempts to roll back ObamaCare. But House Republicans appeared to be having second thoughts today, and they began passing bills to fund parts of the government, despite threats of a presidential veto.

Nancy Cordes is on Capitol Hill

NANCY CORDES (voice-over): House Republicans moved to fund national parks and the National Institutes of Health, after the nation saw stories about sick children shut out of cancer trials, and veterans blocked from the World War II Memorial.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

REP. ERIC CANTOR, (R), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER (from press conference): It is a shame that folks in this country, who come to Washington to be able to see these memorials, can't.

CORDES: As he spoke, a small group furloughed workers demonstrated nearby, urging lawmakers to reopen the entire government.

CORDES (on-camera, from press conference): Why are you pushing for monuments to be opened instead of – say, Head Start preschools for low-income children? Isn't it all important?

CANTOR: That is coming as well, okay? We are going to take every issue that is out there that we have agreement on, and put it on the floor. And we will pass the funding bills to go to the Senate.

CORDES (voice-over): Senate Democrats vowed to block the bills, and most House Democrats voted no.

Ohio's Joyce Beatty:
        
REP. JOYCE BEATTY, (D), OHIO (from speech on House of Representatives floor): It's like asking a large family – for the parents to pick three children to feed, and let the others starve before their eyes.

CORDES (live): Senate Democrats say the only funding they'll agree to, is a bill that funds the full government – no strings attached. In fact, Scott, today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was asked if he would be open to funding cancer research for kids only. And his response was, 'Why would I do that?'

PELLEY: We'll check in with you tomorrow. Nancy, thank you.

— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.